Join American Fever's FACEBOOK PAGE

TWITTER: @PeterChristHall


This website contains the entire novel—linked and illustrated—along with information on influenza and bird flu, an art gallery & opportunities to buy personal protection gear and cultural merchandise (including books, movies, and music cited by American Fever's blogger).



Explore American Fever:
Powered by Squarespace

Day 173: Swimming in Antiviral Waste

I worry about reports that Britain’s rivers and lakes are full of Tamiflu and Relenza, which means ours are, too. Heck, I contributed my share—when I could stand up.

A flood of medicine that collects in urine has flushed into sewers since the pandemic struck. Human pee accounts for 1% of wastewater, but contributes more than half of all waste nutrients via stuff like vitamins, pharmaceuticals, and contraceptive hormones (as opposed to New York’s famous Coney Island Whitefish, the plastic kind).

OUR WATERS ARE DOSED WITH DRUGS: AN IOWA STATE STUDENT SAMPLES A STREAMNo one knows how the antiviral surge will affect wildlife or essential waterborne microbes. The question has never been researched. Vincent Racaniello long ago suggested that sewage from extensive use of Tamiflu might cause recombinant resistance to the antiviral. A tide of antidepressants unquestionably messes up fish and frogs. (Federal regulations force medical institutions to flush narcotics, stimulants, steroids, and depressants—any controlled drugs—down drains, rather than bury them in landfills.)

 For the sake of those still uninfected, I’m now hoping the pharmaceutical-industrial complex gets vaccine out soon. I see reports that the first batch of bioactive chicken eggs is rolling off the line after many delays. There won’t be that many and they won’t go to regular folks. DHS and DOD will grab the lion’s share. If there are black or gray markets, a lot of corporations will pay any premium to stave off a complete collapse in operations. (Have you tried telephoning any companies lately?)

In case any of you snag some vaccine, you should avoid popular pain relievers known as NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Aspirin, Tylenol, Aleve, and Ibuprofen) before getting any shots. A University of Rochester study says they may inhibit your ability to produce the antibodies you want; for an excellent translation, read the explanation at Effect Measure.

It stands to reason that quelling inflammation reduces our immune response; inflammation is an immune response. Taking a pill any time you feel lousy essentially stops your body from fighting what ails you.

Fever We Can Believe In

This is one of those medical “surprises” that keep cropping up because people don’t want to believe it. Years after that Rochester study, the CDC urged parents not to give children Tylenol before their swine flu shots, citing what AP called a “surprising study” in Europe that found it useful to let children suffer a little fever after a vaccination. Duh. It meant they were building up antibodies to the virus. NSAIDS aren’t so hot anyway: A Norwegian Institute of Public Health report says they seem to diminish driving skills.

When an H5N1 vaccine proves out, how will they inject the chosen few? Telekinesis? There’s talk of sending EMS workers with shots, but it’s tough enough for them to tend the sick, let alone deliver meds to those who remain well. I probably won’t need a vaccine unless the flu keeps mutating, in which case it wouldn’t work.

On the plus side, I feel as if one fever has replaced another. I’d like to see Anna soon, thank her with conviction. She’d make a great doctor, but she prefers to study psychology at what she calls “The Endorphin School of Mental Health” because she believes that stimulation through what wiki calls “excitement, pain, consumption of spicy food, love, and orgasm” is an effective way of putting people who are breaking down back into motion.

Having stimulated my natural opioid peptides, Anna has left me to recover while she lines up an alternative eatery in case Ric’s landlord succeeds in evicting them. I picture her smiling innocently under wide, slashing brows, daring anyone to try to stop the LES DIY.

« Day 171-2: Born-Again ‘Banana Boy’ | Main | Day 174: Fiddling While the Web Burns »